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Administrative, Elections and Sanctions Cases

By FindLaw Staff on March 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Colorado Interstate Gas Co. v. FERC, No. 08-1243, concerned a petition for review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders holding that under its tariff petitioner could only recover from its shippers gas that was lost in the course of normal pipeline operations.  The D.C. Circuit denied the petition, holding that FERC's interpretation of the tariff was reasonable, and its conclusion that the loss did not result from normal operations was supported by substantial evidence. v. FEC, No. 08-5223, involved a challenge to the Federal Elections Commission's (FEC) draft advisory opinion concluding that, under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), plaintiff would be required to organize as a "political committee" as defined by 2 U.S.C. section 431(4) and would be subject to all the requirements and restrictions concomitant with that designation.  The D.C. Circuit affirmed in part, on the ground that the additional burden that would be imposed on plaintiff if it were required to comply with the organizational and reporting requirements applicable to political committees was not too much for the First Amendment to bear.  However, the court reversed in part, holding that the government had no anti-corruption interest in limiting contributions to an independent expenditure group such as plaintiff.

Prime Time Int'l. Co. v. Vilsack, No. 09-5099, concerned an action by a manufacturer of small cigars challenging its assessments as a manufacturer of tobacco products under the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act (FETRA), asserting claims under FETRA, the Information Quality Act, and the Due Process Clause.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendants in part, holding that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) adequately explained why it rejected petitioner's view that A.C. Nielsen data on industry and individual sales volumes should be used in lieu of "removal" data.  However, the court reversed in part, holding that USDA's present interpretation was not mandated by the plain text of FETRA.

Burns v. George Basilikas Trust, No. 09-7045, involved an appeal from a bankruptcy court's imposition of sanctions on counsel for a debtor, for violation of Rule 9011(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.  The D.C. Circuit reversed on the ground that requesting counseling from an unapproved credit counseling agency could satisfy 11 U.S.C. section 109(h)(3), and thus counsel did not violate that statute.

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